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House of Commons Hansard #156 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was history.

Topics

Air-IndiaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, we can kiss off that promise.

Today the government announced a costly and unsuccessful step in the tragic 20 year journey of pain for the families of Air-India, more unanswered questions.

The hesitant half measures announced today by the rushed report from Liberal recruit Bob Rae do not respond to the numerous concerns raised by the victims' families. They include issues of terrorist funding, immigration, judicial accountability and witness intimidation.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister commit today to follow the wishes of the families, respect the will of Parliament and have a broad, inclusive, headed by a judge, public inquiry and finally let justice be done into the worst mass murders and terrorist attacks in Canadian history?

Air-IndiaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as I have just indicated, I will accept the recommendations of the Hon. Bob Rae in relation to the second stage of this investigation or inquiry. He has identified for us the questions that we can answer and that will ensure, we hope, that this kind of tragedy does not happen again and does not befall the families of other victims.

I also want to inform the House that I had the opportunity to meet with the families just a little while ago. I have indicated that I will look at their additional questions and some of them will be added--

Air-IndiaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have questioned the Minister of Public Safety about U.S. prison planes stopping over in Canadian airports. The minister responded that she had no information about such allegations. So the hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin sent her a letter informing her of the flight numbers and asked her to conduct a follow-up.

Has the minister followed up? If so, can she tell us if these U.S. planes carrying prisoners who might be tortured did indeed come through Canada?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I did receive such a letter yesterday afternoon after question period. I have referred the letter to my department officials and have asked them to follow up on the issues raised by the hon. member.

I go back to what I said before. I have received no information or evidence whatsoever that those planes were involved in any act that one would describe as extraordinary rendition.

I want it to be absolutely clear that we have not in this country returned anyone to a country where they would face a substantial risk of torture.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was certainly not expecting the CIA to call first to warn her that planes carrying prisoners would stop over here on their way to other countries.

Rather, we are asking her to verify this, and I am surprised that she has not taken the time to do so. This has been in the papers for several days now. Surely she reads the papers.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

If the Minister of Transport would pipe down, I will continue.

As a matter of fact, the minister has not verified anything, while other countries have. Does she take this seriously or is she trying, instead, to do what she did in the Maher Arar case, meaning do nothing and let human rights abuses occur?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, I received the letter yesterday. I referred the letter to my department officials and have asked them to follow up.

Let me again go back to what I have said. I have received no information that would indicate that any plane has landed in Canada anywhere that has been involved in the act of extraordinary rendition.

However I received the letter and I have asked my officials to follow up.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister has already told us on several occasions that, to her knowledge, there was no information indicating, and no real reason to believe, that CIA prison planes had landed in Newfoundland. There can be no flights over Canadian territory without our knowledge and without the filing of a flight plan.

I have two very simple questions for the minister. Was she aware of the existence of those flights? Was she aware that CIA-owned aircraft had used Canadian territory to carry out their operations?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, I have no knowledge that any planes were used in relation to the act of extraordinary rendition.

I have received the hon. member's letter and I have asked my officials to follow up on his letter. In fact, if he has some secret information it might be very useful if he shared it with us.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, we understand that she does not know, but what we would like to know is this: does she want to know? Several countries have expressed concerns and are calling upon the United States for explanations because they fear human rights have been violated.

Is the minister herself not concerned by that possibility? Rather than repeating that she has no information, ought she not to be concerned with wondering whether this impacts on Canada's international responsibility, or whether the horrible experience of Maher Arar is not being repeated because of her indifference?

Public SafetyOral Questions

November 23rd, 2005 / 2:30 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister has been very clear. We have no reliable information, nor any reason that would lead us to believe that the aircraft that landed at St. John's was anything other than a private plane. If we were to learn that the U.S. was indeed using Canadian territory for those purposes, we would obviously raise the issue with the appropriate American authorities.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister likes to claim that he has done a great deal to combat climate change. He loves talking about it. He even promised to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%. Yet, 12 years after these Liberal promises, we are told that Canada's emissions have not decreased, but increased by 24%, the worst record of any developed nation.

Can the Prime Minister explain to us why he is doing the direct opposite of what he promised?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it would be correct to say, as I have said many times, that Canada is far from having the toughest objective to reach among the Kyoto protocol signatory countries. That is why we must all work together to achieve it and we have a plan for that.

However, it seems that working all together unfortunately does not include the leader of the NDP, who instead of giving Canada every chance by avoiding an election at the very moment we are hosting a conference on climate change, has chosen to join forces with the Conservative leader, who wants to kill Kyoto and the separatist leader, who wants to destroy Canada. Shame on the leader of the NDP.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that Liberal words on climate change mean nothing. It is their actions that speak louder. Our emissions are dramatically up; over $1 billion in subsidies to oil and coal. We have no strategy to produce cars that produce less emissions even though the NDP offered one to the government over two years ago.

Now we have the Oshawa plant needing to produce a new model. Why is there no plan to start building the green cars that Canadians want, that can reduce pollution right here in Canada and have them built in Oshawa with Canadian workers?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I will be very pleased to send a new copy of the climate change plan to the leader of the NDP. He will see that we will invest $10 billion over the years to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. I am very proud that Canada yesterday listed greenhouse gas emissions against CEPA. We did it and we would have been pleased to do it with the leader of the NDP. However, instead of that, he wants to join the Conservative leader who wants to kill Kyoto. It is a shame.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Mills Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to repeat that just days before the COP 11 conference in Montreal, we have this new report from the UN. It shows Canada is the worst performer on the planet when it comes to reducing greenhouse gases. We are 25% above 1990 levels and that number is growing.

Canadians want to know how the environment minister will explain this embarrassment in front of the world?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, Canada has a very growing economy because of this government protecting our industries. Instead of our industries going to China and other countries, the industries stay in Canada. It good for the environment because we have the capacity to decrease emissions with good technology and we will do it through a very compelling climate change plan. What party is speaking? A party that has no plan, no commitment and no conviction about the environment.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, just a few days before the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal we have a new UN report indicating that Canada is the worst country on the planet in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

For 12 years this government has been long on promises and short on action and our emissions have increased by 24% according to the report.

Will the government be frank enough to admit that the Kyoto plan has resulted in increased emissions?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, he is talking through his hat. Emissions would increase if we did what the Conservatives want to do, which is nothing at all—in other words, withdraw from the Kyoto protocol thereby upsetting the world wide balance required if we are to reduce emissions everywhere.

I remind hon. members that the Conservative critic said that Conservatives should not go before the electorate without a plan to address climate change. They still do not have a plan and Canadians will let them know how they feel about it.

Canada Steamship LinesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, former Canada Steamship Lines' chief engineers recently pulled back the veil of secrecy on CSL operations. CSL ships, they report, have been dumping tonnes of ore pellets into the Great Lakes when no one was looking. Sierra Club director, Elizabeth May, said that it was illegal. The present Prime Minister agreed in 1990 when he said, “Poisoning the water is a crime and persistent and wilful polluters must be treated as criminals and criminals must go to jail”.

When will the Prime Minister commit his government to pursue legal action against CSL for polluting our Great Lakes?

Canada Steamship LinesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, this government takes the quality of our lakes and the environment very seriously and acts assiduously. The Coast Guard of course does this, as well as Transport Canada.

My hon. colleague should support the measures this government has taken in this regard.

Canada Steamship LinesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, he missed the point. Canada Steamship Lines broke the law. It illegally dumped tonnes of ore pellets into the Great Lakes when no one was looking, and apparently not even the Prime Minister when he held active management of CSL.

Mark Mattson, water quality watchdog, said, “You can't put anything on the bottom of the lake.... There is no way around the laws...”, unless perhaps one becomes a cabinet minister or a prime minister.

Canada Steamship Lines repeatedly broke the law. Why will the Prime Minister not commit his government to legal action against CSL? Is the family business entitled to pollute?

Canada Steamship LinesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, nobody is above the law. Everybody must respect the law. If anything happens in this country that is outside the law we act because we have regulations. It is because we have an environmental policy, something that the Conservative Party is unable to imagine.